Things get serious
|I was pretty vindictive last review as I was really getting pissed off with the pacing but I’m glad things are back in swing and Chihayafuru is officially back with its srs bsns glory! Yeah, give me some tension with drama, I’m hooked.|
|Chihayafuru is back! …Well, not that it left in the first place, but I mean back this week. Just like every other week. …Yeah. ANYWAYS, it’s the conclusion of the tournament and only 2/4 of the Mizusawa Karuta club members can triumph!|
The tournament continues on, accompanied by an overly dramatic soundtrack just to emphasise how important the matches going on are. For Kana and Desktomu, Kana continues to progress since Desk-kun faults. Chihaya, having finally realised that faults can seriously set a person back, watches the match with extreme interest, while completely ignoring Taichi and Nishida. She comments on how Desk-kun has the tendency to give up when he’s losing a match and it’s this close to the ending. However, he takes all of his cards to one side and makes a brief come back. Kana still wins in the end though and her, Chihaya and Desk-kun have a great baww-fest about how much the Karuta kouhai have grown.
Internal thoughts of Desk-kun: It’s okay, Kana-chan, I won’t let you win next time!
…And then Chihaya realises that she’s completely neglected the rest of her team… (Chihaya, no baka!) Retro-kun was the only one watching, but he doesn’t say much about it except an inner monologue talking about how he’s superior to the other two in skill and speed. Both Taichi and Nishida only have one card left. There’s a LOT of tension (with camera angles) and Taichi goes on the attack (where you’re normally supposed to defend your card) in order to increase his chances of winning. Several dead cards are read, and in the end, Nishida wins with luck.
Taichi goes off alone after the match and blames himself for not winning before the game reached that point. In the middle of thinking about how he could have improved, Nishida sits down beside him and tells him, he’s glad that Taichi is President of the Karuta club since Chihaya gives people weird nicknames (Chihaya hears this conversation and is devastated ahaha). Taichi is the only one who actually calls him Nishida.
So with that, the tournament is over with the Mizusawa Karuta club performing excellently overall. Not only did Nishida and Kana advance in rank, but Desk-kun does as well since the top 3 in the Class D rank get to move up. After explaining this, Chihaya calls Desk-kun with his real name, causing confusion. Kana admits that she played that well because she was up against Desk-kun, so there was less pressure, which in turn, makes Chihaya realise that she and Taichi are always under pressure. She then takes the sleeping Taichi and rests his head on her shoulder saying that she wants to play a team match again soon. …And Nishida says it’s okay for Chihaya to keep calling them by their nicknames because she’s supposed to be the airheaded character.
Arata’s episodic cameo actually has relevance this week as he sees the results from the recent tournament and notes that Taichi came in 2nd for the Class B rank. He firmly decides on becoming the Western finalist.
Arata: “Oh so, Taichi’s still after me? Didn’t I say NO the last time we met?”
Bromance in MAH Chihayafuru?! 0_0
What they are really saying–
Nishida: “You SEE the real ME. You call me by MY name!” Taichi: “It’s not as if I l-like you or anything…”
Why are you blushing TAICHI?!
Our reaction faces for this episode~
For TaichixNishida Bromance: NO ACKNOWLEDGEMENT!
After Kana/Desk-kun match. Kids grow up so fast! *bawls*
When we didn’t get to see the details of Taichi/Nishida match
When Taichi lost…
During the car scene
Ow man, it hurts to be right. On a crazy whim, I wanted Taichi to lose and he did. I felt so bad while watching this episode. You could clearly see that Taichi knows more Karuta than Nishida (he remembered the order of syllable cards and even the ones that were to be called), he literally had all the card numbered and counted. What killed me was the fact that he lost due to “luck” not skill. I have to take his side on this one as he has been suffering the most, even more than Chihaya because he not only had to practice like a maniac to get into form (to make up the no-play time during middle school). He has been struggling the most to level up with the impending showdown of Arata’s return to Karuta. Taichi deserved to win and I know this was done for drama but I wish Madhouse does a spectacular job of his match for the promotion to Class-A, which should be the next tourney he gets into. Yeah, I’m pretty demanding. *cracks whip*
However, you know what made up for it? That awesome car scene. OH MY GOD. Chihaya is an airhead but bless her for cushioning Taichi’s head from repeatedly hitting the car window. He definitely needs a break after working so hard while training and supporting the team. He has been a strong pillar for all of them and I can finally say this: he has a strong footing against Arata now. Not in the skill department, mind (he still has to train a lot to reach that god-like moves), but in terms of fairly trying to get Chihaya’s attention. Finally, he has realized the fact that the only way he will have a chance with her is to become a strong Karuta player like Arata.
The team growth has been phenomenal and you can finally see the result of hard work they have been putting to not only increase their stamina (playing for hours is no joke) but play time and strategizing. I felt like a proud manager with Kana winning and Desk-kun taking it so well (and without a tantrum too!). The Misuzawa Karuta Club has come a long way and still have a lot to improve. About Arata’s comeback. Well, about time! I’ve missed him and his Fukui accent so much
(is a sucker for Yoshimasa Hosoya)! Like Kara, I’ve been perturbed by his absence as well because this story is not only about Chihaya and Taichi but centers around the love of karuta that this trio shares. With fifteen volumes of manga already out, I’m sure we won’t get the full story in twenty-five episodes. The best thing for Madhouse would be to announce a second season and I’ll be speaking for everyone, WE WANT MOAR OF THIS BRILLIANCE!
Not quite the results I was expecting, but this episode was extremely satisfying anyways. After soooooo many episodes of being neglected, I think that this episode was fantastic for showing off the good points of Kana and Desk-kun. Er, well, Kana’s level was better displayed last episode, but Desk-kun did really well this episode! Seeing him strategise against Kana was great (though I still wish we could have heard some of Kana’s inner monologue). What a contrast from the episode where he gave up during the team match. Although Kana won, really, I would have been happy with either of them winning since they both worked so hard to get there (though again, it feels like Desk-kun came farther since he ragequit at the beginning). I’m glad that both of them got to advance.
So on to the other half of the match! Nishida vs. Taichi, dear lord that was intense. What can I say? I’m devastated by the fact that Taichi lost. I really hope that there’s another tournament coming up so that Taichi can move to Class A and have his match with Arata. …Though if the team does have another tournament (a non team one), this prevents any complications of Taichi having to go against Chihaya. I have a feeling that if they do play each other, it will have some sort of connection to their relationship. That aside, I love what Madhouse does with the character’s eyes when they’re in a srs bsns Karuta battle. Chihaya and Shinobu in general, but Taichi also had that going on this episode as well. Maybe because they remind me so much of the Persona eyes.
THAT LAST SCENE ASJKFHADSK!!!!!!!! I was upset that it was Nishida (and not Chihaya) that cheered up Taichi after he lost (the moment would have been perfect), but that scene in the car completely made up for it. As much as I love Taichi, this raises the question: when will Arata become relevant again (…and stay relevant)? Sure he’s working his way up back in Fukui currently, but he was such a big part of the childhood friend arc and technically what started this story. Yet, the anime is almost over and he’s only been part of the plot a couple of times. He’s not that vital to the plot anymore and I kind of miss that…
Preview: …Okay, I’ll be honest. We are lost at what will happen next.